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Microsoft Copilot: What does AI mean for small businesses in Brighton?

Two men trying AI on a laptop

You don’t need a tech genius to tell you that AI (artificial intelligence) is rapidly changing the way we live and work. From asking Alexa what the weather’s doing to getting recommendations of what to watch next on Netflix, algorithms and automated responses are all around us. But what does AI mean for small businesses, and particularly those in Brighton and Sussex?

For small businesses, AI offers exciting potential – it can solve challenges like lack of resources and offer enhanced cybersecurity. However, its adoption is not without challenges – where do you start with choosing the right AI solution for your business? How do you know your confidential data is safe? These questions are becoming more common with the roll-out of Microsoft Copilot. Microsoft’s AI tool offers the powerful combination of large language models (LLMs) and compatibility with Microsoft programmes like Word, Excel and Teams, to make businesses more collaborative and productive.

This post helps you navigate some of the benefits and challenges of utilising AI in small- to medium-sized businesses. And we’ve focused on businesses in Brighton & Sussex because that’s where our customers are!

Got questions? Speak to us – we can help you integrate AI seamlessly with your existing IT infrastructure.

AI for small businesses – what are the benefits?

It’s competitive out there, especially in a popular city like Brighton. Getting AI right can be what puts your business ahead of the others thanks to its ability to increase efficiency and ultimately improve your bottom line. 

Improved cyber security & issue resolution

We’re an IT firm, so we were always going to start with the IT support angle! AI is helping enhance security, reduce downtime, save costs and increase efficiency for businesses – and has probably been doing so for longer than you might realise. Cyber security packages – like some of our Bitdefender packages – use automated measures to identify suspicious activity and potential cyberattacks. AI chatbots can also help employees troubleshoot common tech issues, freeing up your IT team or MSP to focus on the more complex problems.

Better client service and project management

Need to analyse reams and reams of client data to understand how your consultancy can best advise on next-steps to grow their business? AI can help you identify the key insights and trends hidden in the data so you can deliver projects quicker. It can even help you suggest relevant services based on their needs, giving you that competitive edge. Whatever your industry – from game developers to property surveyors and everything in between – if you can save time on collating data, you can deliver results for your customers quicker.

Enhanced efficiency, helping you focus where it matters

While some people may fear we’re all about to be replaced by robots, that’s not quite the case just yet. Where AI adds true value is where it complements what we do as humans. If you work for a law firm, is your time better spent searching through files manually for land registry certificates or focusing on complex issues and client relationships? If you’re an accountant, would you rather be doing manual bookkeeping and data entry, or conducting expert financial analysis for your clients? It applies to us too. The more tasks we can automate, the more time we have to spend with our clients onsite, providing top-tier Brighton IT support. Automating routine tasks means you and your employees can spend more time delivering value to your customers and the business as a whole.

Things to consider when using AI in your business

If the potential rewards for using AI in your business are so high, why isn’t everyone doing it? As with all innovations, there are some things to consider before you go all-in on AI.

Integrations can be complex

Choosing the right AI tool for your business is the first step. The next one is figuring out how to make it work with your existing IT setup. If you don’t have the right expertise in-house (or you do, but they don’t have the capacity), a managed service provider or local IT support firm worth its salt will have the know-how to get you up and running in the most productive way possible.

Security and privacy concerns

AI tools – particularly LLMs like chatGPT, Google’s Gemini and Microsoft Copilot – are all about mining a huge amount of information and giving you the most useful, digestible responses or creative outputs to help you go about your day. But what if some information should only be made available to certain people? How do you prevent data breaches and keep confidential information safe but also make sure that people who need that info, can utilise it in the best way? Again, managed service providers can advise on the correct setup to help protect what needs protecting while improving productivity.

The AI landscape is changing rapidly

What’s what in the world of AI changes almost overnight – a lot can change while you’re focusing on what makes your business the success you know it can be. As an IT support firm, our job is to stay ahead of the game and advise you on the latest AI developments relevant to your needs. We nerd out so you don’t have to…

AI for small businesses in Brighton with AJT Managed IT Services

If your business is based in Sussex, working with the AJT team can help you become AI-powered while ensuring your work stays safe and productive. And, it won’t require the significant upfront investment needed for in-house tech and expertise.

Copilot for Microsoft 365: Is your business AI ready?

Microsoft Copilot – Microsoft’s app that combines the power of LLMs with your business’ data – is designed to streamline tasks, automate workflows and enhance collaboration. By working alongside Word, Excel, Teams, Outlook and more, Copilot is all about making your business as productive and creative as possible. It’s also adaptable and can be customised to meet the needs of almost any business.

Sounds great, right? But also potentially a bit overwhelming – how do you even know where to start?

An expert in all things Microsoft 365 with more than 60 years’ experience across the team, AJT Managed IT Services can help you implement Microsoft Copilot to make your business more productive. Speak to us today – we’ll help you get AI ready.